Don Raúl Santiago is a 60-year-old trucker who has been driving tractor-trailers across the country for decades. Now, he’s turned over a new leaf: pursuing a career as a makeup artist.
‘I’m getting out of the truck to do makeup,’ Santiago, who recently earned his professional makeup artist diploma, said.
Interest in makeup
Santiago’s shift towards makeup began about ten years ago. The Arizona-based father of three daughters began to sell cosmetics to cashiers at restaurants and stores along his trucking routes to make some extra money.
‘Whenever I pass a place, I know I can convince the girls [to buy makeup],’ he explained. Using his own charm, he would ‘compliment her eyebrows.’ He’d then offer some creams and other products. ‘Within five minutes of chatting, they’ve bought something.’
Deysbel Olachea’s makeup course
Recently, Santiago became interested in the work of Deysbel Olachea, a makeup artist based in Sonora, Mexico. Olachea offers her own course in professional makeup artistry. So, Santiago visited Sonora to take Olachea’s class. He believed this course would give him more of an edge in the cosmetic industry, as he’d learn about different products and how to use them.
Olachea, whose class is usually all women, got a surprise when a 60-year-old man with a moustache and trucker hat showed up to the course.
‘I thought he was going to be younger,’ said Olachea, who never had a male student before.
On the first day, Santiago was too afraid to touch any of the models, worried he’d hurt them with his rough hands. But by the third day, he was bragging about his top-notch blending skills.
‘I’m not afraid of challenges,’ Santiago said. “I throw myself into the water and learn to swim.’
— Sin Embargo MX (@SinEmbargoMX) May 24, 2019
On the last day of class, Santiago brought in treats to share with everyone – as well as the cosmetics he sells.
Aftermath of the course
Since Santiago took the class, Olachea has received many messages from prospective male students who never considered taking the course before because ‘because they’re men, because of their age, because they’re married,’ she says. ‘But now they say that if he can do it, so can they.’
As for Santiago, he plans to pursue makeup full-time now. Since graduating from the course in late May, he has received many messages of support and interest in his work – including from Ford models agency and from people in countries like Colombia.
One message in particular stuck out to him, though. A man who was considering getting into makeup himself messaged Santiago to ask how a man can work in this field.
‘I told him to get to work,’ Santiago said. ‘We live in society, not for it. I’m not afraid of being stereotyped, I live without prejudices. I respect people because of who they are and because of their work; if you do something well, keep doing it.’